Written February 19, 2013
A serious even-handed telling of one of the most momentous events since WWII. Thankfully lacking in Hollywood caricatures. It's so gratifying to learn about the brilliant, dedicated and determined intelligence officers out there working the fence lines for us. Argo is enjoyable but not nearly this good. This is the real thing and told well.
Written July 14, 2013
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Written January 12, 2013
A bit long for my taste and the story line was not s compelling as advertised. Great insights on CIA and tenacity of the field agent that found him. Ending was disappointing.
Written January 13, 2013
The basic theme of this movie is revenge, wrapped in the gift papers of American patriotism and the new ethic of female machoism. It is seriously flawed, in spite of all the superlative hype. I would start with the ending, which as an add-on (due to recent current events) is too long and not climatic or creative. Maya, the protagonist, is well played though her striking beauty makes her somewhat unbelievable as a CIA operative trying to blend in another culture. This movie purports to be realistic and near journalistic in its scope, but several near laughable scenes of Maya referring to herself as a m----- f-----, Maya on the tarmac alone with the helicopters, Maya opening the body bag, seem to lean towards a superhero movie on the order of Wonder Woman. Finally, although there are beautiful scenes of life in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the movie contributes virtually nothing to understanding the fabric of those cultures.
Written December 24, 2012
ZERO DARK THIRTY amps up the tension from the first scene and rarely backs-off until the end. Even knowing the "story" and its outcome do not prepare you for the shock and immediacy of this film. Granted that there has been some public walking-back on the film's emphasis on "enhanced interrogation" techniques, torture remains a large part of our initial response to 9/11. The central character, Maya, the lead CIA analyst struggling to find Usama bin Laden, is a porcupine personality, lovingly referred to by associates and her supervisors as a "killer." There are a lot of exceptional performances in this film, but the single most impressive is that of the director, K. Bigelow, who delivers and even more awe-inspiring experience than THE HURT LOCKER. I rate this must-see, but be advised it is very tough, gritty and upsetting.